Cultural diversity and the rural community

I am running for election in British Columbia’s Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional District, a remote, rural area in the Okanagan Valley where the nearest city is nearly 400km away. For more than 40 years, Cariboo had…

Cultural diversity and the rural community

I am running for election in British Columbia’s Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional District, a remote, rural area in the Okanagan Valley where the nearest city is nearly 400km away. For more than 40 years, Cariboo had the largest concentrated population of multi-generational rural families in B.C. Now, as more and more professionals and families choose to live and work in the city, dozens of families have made the move west.

Whether they are farms, resorts, ski resorts, or sprawling vacation and housing communities, the weather and lifestyle are draws. Their proximity to the Pacific Ocean and Canadian mainland means the population is still quite diverse. Many of these remote communities keep schools open and offer daily services. This is all possible thanks to B.C.’s economic base, which is based on agriculture, mining, timber, and the forest industry, coupled with tourism, and an ample stock of low-cost oil and gas.

The Cariboo-Chilcotin receives some of the lowest natural gas prices in Canada and thanks to BC Hydro’s network of low-cost hydroelectric projects, provides vital back-up power to all of B.C. These have been the driving forces that have allowed many families to stay put and provide needed services for local communities. My goal as Regional District Chair is to ensure that this infrastructure is accessible for future generations.

The Cariboo-Chilcotin’s rural heritage is very much a part of its economy and culture, despite the fact that it’s outside of traditional city-region boundaries.

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